Advent Day 9: Love One Another

December 5

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 (NIV) 

In the middle of all the holiday rush, we have to stop and fervently love the people around us. We have to, because Jesus was born — love personified — and we have to because showing love to others is a reflection of Jesus in our lives. Most importantly, we’re instructed to love “above all.”

Fervent in this scripture means “to be stretched” or “to be strained,” like the muscles of an athlete working at full capacity. That’s how deeply we’re called to love those around us. A love strong enough to forgive, and start anew.

December arrives, and everyone seems to operate on double time. Moving lightning-quick through our to-do lists can cause short fuses and high levels of frustration. We can snap at our kids, or someone in a check-out line, or a driver who nabs the parking spot we were eyeing. Or, we can choose love instead.

We can, above all, choose love.

For Today: Who can you show more love to this week?

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Advent Day 8: The Greatest Love

December 4

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NIV)

John 3:16 is one of the most, if not the most, recognized scriptures in the Bible. God’s plan for all of humanity is explained in one sentence. The sacrifice on the part of the Father, paved the way for his Son’s sacrifice for us, beginning with his birth.

Jesus needed to take on human flesh in the form of an infant because 33 years later, he would sacrifice his body so that we would have the chance to believe in him, and have eternal life.

Jesus was born to die. For us. We are so loved by our Father in heaven, that he said good-bye to his Son so that Jesus could be born on earth, and then experience separation from him again when Jesus took on all of our sins on the cross. It is proof of God’s love, and no love is greater than that love for us.

We can experience new life, because Jesus was born in the first place. Christmas marks the birth of the Messiah, and the start of our stories.

For Today: How did your story with Jesus start? Who will you share that story with this week?